Heriot-Watt University

Assistant Professor in Actuarial Science (Data Science)

Heriot-Watt University – Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics

Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and leading-edge, relevant research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for innovation, business and industry. 

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages. Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort 

Shaping Tomorrow Together 

The university is running a campaign to identify key academic talent join us across our Edinburgh, Galashiels, and Dubai campuses and across multiple Schools and Disciplines. You will join as an Assistant Professor. This is an exciting campaign to kick off in late 2022 and into 2023. So, we are really interested in hearing from you as we look to you to help us shape tomorrow together. 

About our Team   

The Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics (“the Department”) has a warm, supportive environment with staff from all over the world.  The Department is internationally renowned in actuarial science, financial risk, applied probability, statistics and statistical data science through its world-leading research activities.  The Department sits within the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (“the School”), along with the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Computer Science.

The Department currently holds substantial research funding from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, EPSRC and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.  The School strongly encourages and supports the generation of industry impact from research.

The Department has long-established, global links with the actuarial profession. As well as our links with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in the UK, we are the only Center of Actuarial Excellence in Europe of the US-based Society of Actuaries.  Within Scotland, we have excellent links to the financial services industry through the Scottish Financial Risk Academy, a partnership between industry and Scottish academic institutions which has been led by Heriot-Watt University since its establishment in 2010.

The School is a partner in the Maxwell Institute for Mathematical Sciences, an institute that brings together the research activities at Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh. The Maxwell Institute is an internationally pre-eminent collaborative centre for research and for postgraduate training in the mathematical sciences, and offers an environment that is able to attract and foster the very best mathematical talent from around the world.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), amongst mathematical sciences groups, the Maxwell Institute was ranked 5th in the UK and 1st in Scotland according to the power measure which takes account of volume and quality of research activity.  The Maxwell Institute was also ranked 1st in Scotland for the proportion of its research that is world-leading and equal 1st in the UK for its world-leading and internationally excellent research environment.

With an exciting programme of research events, the Maxwell Institute is the heart of mathematical sciences research in Edinburgh.  It also coordinates the Maxwell Institute Graduate School (MIGS), to which all our PhD students in mathematical sciences belong.  The Maxwell Institute has been awarded around £6M of funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for a centre for doctoral training in Mathematical modelling, Analysis and Computation (MAC-MIGS).

MAC-MIGS trains modelling experts who can develop and analyse mathematical models, translate them into efficient computer codes, and communicate the solutions with industry and government. MAC-MIGS involves partnerships with the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre, the Scottish Financial Risk Academy, the DataLab and the Alan Turing Institute, as well as the involvement of over 30 industrial and governmental partners.  MIGS shares its location in the Bayes Centre, in Edinburgh, with the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS). ICMS attracts top international mathematical visitors all year round through its extensive programme of international workshops, meetings, and other research and outreach activities.

The School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences has an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and is committed to its equality charter, which includes having a diverse and inclusive workforce, and to offering equality of opportunity to all.  We encourage applications from under-represented groups. We welcome requests for flexible working arrangements and normally accommodate them.

Detailed Description

As the successful candidate, you will lead, carry out and publish internationally excellent research in your field. You will have a strong track record of research in:

  1. Actuarial science including general insurance, financial risk, cyber risk, actuarial data science; or
  2. Statistics or statistical data science including applied statistics, mathematical and computational statistics, statistical theory and methodology, Bayesian statistics and statistical machine learning

You will be established (a requirement to be considered at Associate Professor level), or have the potential to establish yourself as an international research leader, with strong postdoctoral research experience and the ambition to build a world-class academic group.

You will have the relevant experience to engage and innovate in our specialised actuarial, financial and statistical data science teaching programmes and the enthusiasm to contribute to the expansion of our successful postgraduate programmes and continual improvement of our undergraduate programmes.

The School strongly encourages and supports the generation of industry impact from research, and we welcome candidates with experience of working with the actuarial/insurance/finance industry or of statistical work with industrial partners.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

The post-holder will be required to:

  • Lead, carry out and publish internationally excellent research in actuarial science, statistical data science or a related field;
  • Apply for research funding through either the submission of high-quality grant proposals or funding from industry, with the goal of building a research group;
  • Undertake knowledge exchange activities to promote and disseminate your research;
  • Carry out such administrative and recruitment activities as may be required to achieve these aims;
  • Develop and deliver innovative teaching in actuarial science, financial mathematics and statistics at undergraduate and postgraduate level;
  • Be responsible to the Head of Department for performing the activities listed above in a way that will maintain and enhance the School’s reputation for excellence.

The successful candidates will be based at our Edinburgh campus in the UK.

Education, Qualifications and Experience

As the successful candidate, you will lead, carry out and publish internationally excellent research in your field. You will have a strong track record of research in actuarial science, which may also include financial risk, cyber risk and actuarial data science, as demonstrated through publications, citations, external invitations and research funding.  You will be established as an international research leader, with the ambition to build a world-class academic group and have the experience or potential to supervise PhD students and post-doctoral researchers.

You will have the relevant experience to engage and innovate in our specialised actuarial, financial and statistical data science teaching programmes.  You will have the drive and commitment to contribute to the expansion of our successful postgraduate programmes.

The School strongly encourages and supports the generation of industry impact from research, and we welcome candidates with experience of working with the actuarial/insurance/finance industry or of statistical work with industrial partners.

Essential Criteria

  •  PhD in statistics, actuarial science or a related field, or, if you have no PhD, a track-record of high-quality research in one or more of these areas
  • Track-record of internationally-leading research with internationally excellent publications
  • Skills to teach a range of lecture courses in the Department, as well as supervise MSc dissertations
  • Excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills
  • Potential, ambition and plans to obtain research funding
  • Ability to supervise successfully PhD students

Desirable Criteria

  • Track record of obtaining research funding.
  • Track record of successful supervision of PhD students and/or post-doctoral researchers.
  • Experience of working with the actuarial/insurance/finance industry or of statistical work with industrial partners.
  • Potential to provide leadership in the development and implementation of a research strategy within the Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics
  • Potential to provide leadership in the planning, organisation and development of learning and teaching activities in the Department

How to Apply

Applications can be submitted until midnight UK time on the 19th February 2023

Personal invitation to view our Job Brochure here Shaping Together Tomorrow 

Interested applicants must submit via the Heriot-Watt University on-line recruitment system: (1) a cover letter describing their interest and suitability for the post; (2) a full CV; (3) An outline of their research plans for the next few years; (4) A one-page summary of their teaching philosophy or approach to teaching; and (5) a list of publications.

If you have any queries, then please do not hesitate to contact Professor Catherine Donnelly, Head of Department, C.Donnelly@hw.ac.uk.

Heriot-Watt University values diversity across our University community and welcomes applications from all sectors of society, particularly from underrepresented groups. For more information, please see our website https://www.hw.ac.uk/uk/services/equality-diversity.htm and also our award-winning work in Disability Inclusive Science Careers https://disc.hw.ac.uk/ . 

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options. 

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.